Let’s take a moment to praise New York state’s achievement in holding COVID-19 infections at their lowest positivity rate in more than two weeks Sunday, including new cases in active coronavirus clusters and across the state as a whole.

New York continues to battle multiple coronavirus clusters mainly centralized in Hasidic Jewish communities in Orange and Rockland counties, Brooklyn and some areas of Queens with tens of thousands of targeted, rapid diagnostic COVID-19 tests to identify and stop the spread of the disease.

As Columbia County Health Department Director Jack Mabb mused Monday, “We’re not really seeing what I would consider a spike at this point in time,” speaking about a jump in the number of positive COVID cases in the county.

What we’re seeing instead are clusters, but overall, the state is doing very well. New York conducted more than 118,000 coronavirus tests Saturday, revealing a 0.96% infection rate. The state’s Sunday infection rate was 0.84%, excluding COVID-19 hot spots. Both positivity rates are the state’s lowest since Sept. 24.

New York’s sophisticated testing mechanism allows more tests per day than most states take each week. Geographic areas surrounding state virus clusters tested 5.7% positive Sunday.

Health experts continue to tackle virus hot spots with unspecified community spread in Western New York. Other clusters, as we are painfully aware, persist at upstate colleges and universities.

Attacking a cluster will be much easier than trying to tamp down an increasing statewide rate. Two weeks doesn’t sound like much of an accomplishment, but when weighed against the long-duration spikes and surges of the last seven months, it’s a small victory.

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Johnson Newspapers 7.1


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